China Has Been A World Leader In Patent Grants Since 2015

40 percent of startup companies with a value of $1 billion or more were based in China in 2018

September 18, 2019

For years, China was criticized for copying the innovation of others. That’s no longer the case. Through the Made in China 2025 initiative, the Chinese government is helping to foster the development of manufacturing in China in heavy industries like automotive, aerospace, and rail. It encourages research and bolsters startups. Today, China is a leader in many of the newest technologies, particularly those relating to mobility. It produces and sells more electric vehicles than any other nation and controls two-thirds of the global production of lithium-ion batteries used in EVs. In 2018, 40 percent of startup companies with a value of $1 billion or more—most in the mobility sector—were based in China, according to TechCrunch. In fact, there were more in China than in the United States—149 versus 146.

But China is also pushing forward in research. Back in 2000, China filed one-tenth the number of patent applications as the US; in 2017 it filed more than the US, Japan, and the largest five economies in the European Union combined. The chart below outlines how the number of patents granted to companies based in China has grown in comparison to some of the world’s leading economies since 2000. Here too China is a leader.

Learn more about how China is paving the way for the New Mobility in this MIT Sloan Management Review article by Heiko Rauscher, an Oliver Wyman partner.